If you were worried about Taylor Swift winding up in the streets rattling a tin cup and begging for change to feed her cats, I’ve got good news for you. Despite never having owned her own masters, Taylor has still managed to make quite a good living for herself. Her 2019 earnings of $185 million have landed her the #1 spot on Forbes’ World’s 100 Highest-Paid Celebrities list. She may have been offered a shitty deal with her old label, Big Machine Records, and seen her work fall into her enemy’s hands, but don’t shed a tear for Tay Tay. There’s still plenty of Fancy Feast on the menu at her house. And you won’t see Scooter Braun’s name anywhere on this list. However, she does have other sworn enemies breathing down her neck. Coming in at #2 and #3 on Forbes’ list are Kylie Jenner ($170 M) and Kanye West ($150 M) respectively (and Kim Kardashian is #26, $72 M).
The celebrity list is comprised of musicians, athletes and “personalities” and is based on pre-tax earnings over the past 12 months. According to Forbes, touring is what’s keeping Taylor’s castle lights on this year. In 2016, Taylor topped the list due mostly to the 1989 World Tour. This year, the Reputation Stadium Tour is raking it in.
Touring continues to play a crucial role in Swift’s road to the top. The Reputation Stadium Tour surpassed her own 1989 World Tour as the highest-grossing in the U.S., raking in $266.1 million domestically, according to Billboard Boxscore. The 53-stadium trek ultimately reached 36 cities, seven countries and four continents, closing with $345 million overall.
In 2018, Netflix brought the Reputation Stadium Tour to living rooms on New Years Eve, after acquiring the exclusive rights to the tour for a live concert special. The streaming giant’s payout and endorsement deals with Apple, AT&T and Diet Coke added millions to Swift’s coffers.
Because this world is upside down and all kinds of wrong, the top 100 list is bottomed by Celine Dion who earned a measly $37.5 million. Yet what Celine lacks in material wealth, she more than makes up for in charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent. Traits of which Taylor can only boast one or two, at most.
The meat in the Taylor/Celine sandwich is made up of Taylor’s old pal Ed Sheeran (#5, $110) who she probably doesn’t talk to anymore since he’s working with sworn enemy number 4 or 5 Justin Beiber (who didn’t make the cut), The One And Only Judge Judy Sheindlin (#59, $49), soccer star Crispy Ronaldo (#6, $109), Dr. Phil McGraw (#9, $95), Drake (#25, $75), and Katy Perry (#41, $57.5) who tied with Justin Timberlake. Beyonce and Jay Z also tied at #20 with $81 million each. Wait, Dr. Phil but no Oprah?!
The list is all over the place really. People you might expect to be on there aren’t, and people who shouldn’t be on there are (#87 DJ Khalid, $40). But that’s probably because Forbes has so many different lists. And their accounting is highly suspect. I mean, according to Forbes, Kylie’s still the world’s youngest self-made billionaire. Pffft. Anyway, here’s the list in its entirety. Next week Forbes will probably publish a list of the World’s Highest-Paid Celebrity Pets and if Gary Fisher isn’t #1, I’m gonna cut somebody.